Daily Bread for 5.8.22: Manufacturing Panic

Good morning.

Mother’s Day in Whitewater will be mostly sunny with a high of 64.  Sunrise is 5:38 AM and sunset 8:03 PM for 14h 25m 17s of daytime.  The moon is a waxing crescent with 45.2% of its visible disk illuminated.

On this day in 1869,  the First Transcontinental Railroad, linking the eastern and western United States, is completed at Promontory Summit, Utah Territory with a golden spike.

Trip Gabriel reports He Fuels the Right’s Cultural Fires (‘Christopher Rufo helped make critical race theory a conservative rallying cry. Now he sees L.G.B.T.Q. issues as an even more potent line of attack’):

GIG HARBOR, Wash. — Christopher Rufo appears on Fox News so often that he converted a room in his Pacific Northwest house to a television studio, complete with professional lighting, an uplink to Fox in New York and an “On Air” light in the hall so his wife and two children don’t barge in during broadcasts.

“I’ll do ‘Tucker’ and then pop out and have dinner,” Mr. Rufo said recently at his home in Gig Harbor, Wash., thousands of miles from the nation’s media and political capitals.

Mr. Rufo is the conservative activist who probably more than any other person made critical race theory a rallying cry on the right — and who has become, to some on the left, an agitator of intolerance. A senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute, a right-leaning think tank, he has emerged at the front of another explosive cultural clash, one that he sees as even more politically potent and that the left views as just as dangerous: the battle over L.G.B.T.Q. restrictions in schools.


He has acknowledged twisting hot-button racial issues to achieve his aims. “The goal is to have the public read something crazy in the newspaper and immediately think ‘critical race theory,’” he wrote on Twitter last year.


Donald Moynihan, a professor of public policy at Georgetown University, said conservatives had falsely and intentionally linked child sex predators with opponents of the Florida law. Mr. Rufo, he said, had provided fuel for their arguments.

“This is the stock-in-trade of Rufo’s brand of activism — creating these very negative brands and then associating things that might have much more popular support with those brands to put people on the defensive,” Dr. Moynihan said. “That’s the through line you see between the C.R.T. stuff and the current ‘groomer’ effort.”

Now, this libertarian blogger is neither a member of a racial minority group nor the LGBTQ community. (On the contrary, by demographics, I am situated in more than one majority group. For it all, I am, and always will be, simply an emissary of one.) Critical to libertarian belief: those minority groups can — and in a free society must — be able to speak for themselves.

It is impossible to believe in liberty as a fundamental principle and condition and not see the threat to the individual rights of millions of Americans from book-banning and closet-confining. In communities large and small, that threat has reached the threshold of schools and city halls. Leaving aside the theological implications of the injunction (as I am in no position to send anyone anywhere), nevertheless for Rufo and his ilk the rebuke go to hell comes to mind.

(Worth noting: some of those who claimed their response to the pandemic was a battle of ‘hope’ over ‘fear’ are themselves embarrassingly overcome with fear at the mere publishing of books or the expression of individual identity.)

The question for Whitewater: if a lumpen horde gathers to destroy the lives of some of our fellow residents, falsely claiming the authority to do so, what will happen to those residents? Will city and school district officials permit the victimization of a few by the dark efforts of others? Officials who cater to the worst impulses of a mob deserve no deference while doing so; they merit only a critique more through, repeated, and effective than the bleating of any horde.

In small towns across America, people of goodwill can each play a small part, assuring that their communities remain places of individual liberty.

These French tiny homes are giving homeless people practical skills and a place to live afterwards:

Participants in the project in Brittany take part in all aspects of the construction of the mobile homes and are given the keys afterward.

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